Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Root of It All....

I've been following a very interesting discussion on Tom's blog and rather than muddle his blog, I'll post my thoughts here.

I never thought it made any difference. Christian or non-Christian. You decide how many children you want and then you have that many (God willing, of course). Once your perfect family is complete, use any number of available birth control methods to ensure (to the best of your ability) that you don't have any more except through God's divine intervention or forgetfulness. I never thought that one birth control method would be better or worse than another and I never thought how those various methods actually worked either. I only thought that they prevented pregnancy in varying states of permanence and that was the point. At least, it was the only thing I was interested in.

I have always thought that 2 children were plenty. I came from a family with 2 children. I had less fear of a total uprising with an equivalent number of parents and children. We would have an even number of people for rides at Astroworld (which I realize is now deceased). We would have no middle child and thus, no middle child syndrome...everything would be even. (Although, to be completely honest, nothing in my family has ever been even or equal.)

Brian has always had his heart set on 3. He comes from a family of 3 sons and so this seems like a perfect number to him.

And the debate continues. Brian is wise in that he knows not to push me on any particular issue. Pushing any issue will only cause me to run at breakneck speed to the other side. However, time continues to show that I usually come to where I need to be. Cases in point: breastfeeding, being a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling.

I am beginning to see the problem in all this...my feminism. If you had asked me 15 years ago what the course of my life was going to be...it wasn't going to be as a wife and mother. I saw no importance in that whatsoever. Of course, part of that thinking was due to the fact that I strongly believed that I would never find anyone to marry me and that I had been told it was very unlikely that I would ever have children.

I was taught that you had to depend on yourself and be able to take care of yourself.

When I heard men talking about not using birth control, I would get my nose way out of joint. Women, not that I heard very many in my social circle talking about unlimited children, I just thought were nuts. At least the women would actually be carrying the child and taking care of it instead of issuing a directive while going off to the office and talking to people who can talk back.

When I told my mother that Brian wanted 3 and I only wanted 2, she confirmed what I was thinking. He wasn't the one that was going to have to carry it and have it and take care of it. So he didn't get a vote.

And that's the way I was raised and that is the way I think, initially at gut-reaction level. It is my decision how many children to have or whether to work or to homeschool or even to have pink carpet.

Biblically, I know my role is to be the heart of the home. To take care of my husband and my children. To be Brian's helper. Some days I like doing that. Some days, I'd like to leave and never come back. And on those days, I wonder...what about me? I didn't finish college and I still have some aspirations of finishing. Sometimes it makes me feel like a failure. I don't have something that's just mine. Everything I have, I have to share. I wonder if I would have the same selfish attitude to overcome if being able to "take care of myself" hadn't been drilled into my head for as long as I can remember.

With that selfish attitude on my role in this family, is the selfish attitude that I don't want any more of God's blessings, thank you very much. Two are just fine with me. I am just starting to realize how ridiculous that sounds. Why in the world would I want to tell God to keep His blessings? There is no wisdom in that statement. Don't get me wrong, I have good worldly reasons. We are living in a 900 square foot apartment! I have plenty of good reasons to not want more children. I am being convicted HARD CORE on two levels that this way of thinking is wrong, wrong, wrong. One level is the form of birth control we are using. We both feel that this is wrong. This has been on my heart for a while. I have started reading 2 books that addressed this topic in one fashion or another and when I read that part, I put the book back on the shelf. Nope. Not interested in hearing that.

And the second, well, that's the trust issue. I feel like we need to trust God that He will give or not give us what we can handle. I feel certain it says that somewhere in the Bible. Frankly, it's a very simple point, as points go. You know, let God do His thing. One thing that we've been able to tie this to is our feeling of debt and letting God take care of those needs.

Brian and I feel very strongly about not going into any further debt. When we were getting ready to sell the house, we were in a big hurry and had to get a lot of things done that we had intended to get done over time. People were starting to want their money. I told Brian that we needed to get a loan so that we could take care of these immediate needs and then pay off the balance when the house sold. Brian said "no" and we put our faith in God instead of Wells Fargo and everything was taken care of. Only one company asked to be paid at a time. Brian got the moving allowance way ahead of schedule. All these little things happened so that we were able to honor our commitments.

Now. God wants us to put our trust and faith in Him, in all things. In fact, I'm sure I read somewhere that "without faith, it is impossible to please God." He also says things like, "Fear not" and that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. I guess the question is....are we going to trust in God or trust in ourselves? I feel like God is telling me to trust in Him on this particular issue that He's hammering on me. His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His ways. And Brian's thinking is basically, look twice at whatever you're doing that the world agrees with...

My next hot topic is going to be....Should we encourage (or pay for) our daughters to go to college?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my the fact that i'm even commenting (after last time) is scary! Instead of typing my comment all over again, i'll just direct people to Tom's blog for my comment on this topic! Georgia, I know right where you are. God basically beat me over the head, and still does with this topic. The books I suggested are good. I would read A Mom Just Like You first. It is so touching! For me, the scariest thing is letting go of the decision making. I think even Christians are pretty much raised to trust God with everything but money and children. It is so foreign to yield everything to His will (not to mention uncomfortable). Cathy

becki said...

This is another tricky subject! I am enjoying Tom's blog and have learned a lot from it.

About your next hot topic, regardless of being feminist or not, I think we should encourage our daughters (and sons) to follow where God leads them. I WILL NOT encourage my daughter to not go to college and focus on being a mother solely. I WILL by my actions and words show her that being a mom and wife only is a rewarding and noble job. What I mean by that is if I acted like a martyr for giving up my "dreams" and resented my husband of living out his I would only push her to not desire this way of life. If God wants Kendall to be a teacher, garbage truck driver, or physicist I will support her regardless of her gender. Don't go crazy on me, I do not think that women and men are capable true equality. God gave us each our strengths and weaknesses, but I do not know God's great plans for my children. My role is to support, God's is to lead.

Pretty in Pink said...

Georgia,

First, I want to address your last paragraph and just say that PLEASE DO POST THAT TOPIC SOON!

On to this one: I think if we are all honest, we have all felt like you are feeling now at one time or another. If we take off our masks, we can honestly say that a lot of times trusting God is H A R D!!!!

I know that what I'm about to tell you, someone should tell me...it's not like I've got this down or anything...but here goes:

I think sometimes we make our Christian walk with Jesus too complicated. I think what your heart is leading you to right now is to trust God, and I believe this is the basis of Christianity.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. That's what Jesus said was the greatest commandment. I think that's Mark 12:29-30? Somewhere in there. So how do we do this?

One day at a time.

Lord I believe you, please help my unbelief.

Yes, I know there is more to it, but if we could just focus on that one truth and live it one day at a time...I believe God will do the rest.

Love ya

Anonymous said...

Wow, Georgia. You're becoming a commentator of evening news proportions, ya know? You've really got people thinking and debating. That's excellent. People need to hear and see their ideas and thoughts. Its like the saying "You can't really understand a concept unless you can explain it or teach it to someone else."
You know I've never studied the scripture very much so I am not completely capable of relating to all of the discussions here. I do believe you can know God without knowing his will just as you can be intelligent without having much education. Its a poor analogy at best but I think you can follow my train of thought.
What I do believe, because I feel it as surely as I feel His presence, is that, people who know their hearts can know His will for them. I know that we need to know that our desires are in accordance with scripture to be in spiritual peace. I know that we have a responsibility to be educated in His law, but I also know that He works in the most mysterious of ways and that to believe that we know His will is foolish.
Which is why I believe in searching yourself and your heart for what God has in store for you.
Its hard to make this argument against people who know the black and white of scripture. Do you know what I mean?
What I do believe is that God gave us free will and the scriptures to guide us. He didn't give us free will and then say you were wrong for using it.
I do believe God made women and men different for a reason. I also believe that being a wife and mother is one of the greatest blessings God bestows. I also believe he doesn't bestow the same blessings and gifts upon everyone which is why women like Marie Curie made incredible advances in science and Oprah has the Angel network (or insert your example here).
I think one of the most important things I learned was that God expects us to fail. We will sin. We will choose the wrong path. We will void His law as written in scripture again and again because we are not Christ. We are to strive to be Christ like but we will never succeed which is why the only thing we absolutely have to do to receive God's love is to truely accept Christ into our heart.
This is why I believe to the core that one of God's greatist gifts on Earth is a happy life with just enough strife to help you appreciate his gifts. Discovering that a corporate job and being single is not truely fulfilling for you is the challenge.
I consider things like motherhood, college, career, spiritual growth through Bible study, marriage, etc opportunities that we are blessed with to enlighten ourselves, better support our family and make a difference in the world. Its not letting these things interfere with his greatest gifts that makes all of the difference.
What ever makes you happy will make me happy for you. I believe God has blessed you and in recent days with the flooding, even me.
We are truely blessed in our lives and decisions and I believe we will always be as long as we keep our hearts open to His will, whatever it may be.
Best wishes,
Kellie